Monday, July 28, 2008

She Has Returned.............

Our traveler has returned home safe and sound and the battery in her bodily clock is all askew. Her flight from Newark to Cleveland was delayed until after 9PM last night and so she didn't arrived until 11:30PM. After saying that she was very tired, she said "but, my body's gone to bed and is back up again!"

So, I can't imagine how she feels today.

She has so much to say and we can't wait to hear it all.

L's gone off to New Jersey this week and he has to wait until Friday to hear all about it. But, we've got that 6 hour drive to Chicago on Friday, so, kClare, get your storytelling hat out!


In the meantime, I have a few pictures to share from one of their earlier ports in Ireland. Check back next week!



Of course, kClare got her sister to try a Guinness while in Ireland and her response? "GROSS".....and the straw? What's up with that???


The girls found the root of their Mangan roots while in Ireland

Stonehenge...........
And the rock at Stonehenge that no one cares about.........except jJoy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Project Runway - Episode Two.....Don't Read kClare......

SPOILER WARNING......Episode 2 Results Revealed.....

In my estimation, Episode Two proved to be a little better than Episode One especially since one of my favorite movie actresses was the guest judge. Her identity was not revealed to the designers until she appeared on the runway the next day. Natalie Portman - petite, sweet and very young!

In tonight's challenge the models were the client and also the shopper of supplies. Additionally, the evening dress had to be fashioned out of "green" materials. The designers were rightly worried about the choices of fabrics that the models would bring back from Mood's. All in all, I think they did a good job.

Here's how our designers fared in tonight's challenge:

Blayne - Mr Hat's pink, off the shoulder dress was accented by a black gusset on the side. It was rather nice - he's got style.

Daniel - The Cup Guy struggled with his black dress and still seemed like he was designing it in the morning, never mind sewing it together. I think it looked hideous and didn't really seem to have a direction.

Emily - I'm not going to lie......I fell asleep as Emily's dress came down the runway although I did watch the drama that went into making it. I think it was way too short and I don't know about you, I think fashions where the back of the dress is longer than the front are a little 90's.

Jennifer - YIKES - what a mess. A veritable hodge-podge of elements that were thrown together and, well, I didn't like it.

Jerell - Mr Funny Guy's dress was lovely and flowy and although i didn't like the colors and I didn't like the hemline, it was nicely designed, not so expertly crafted and the client seemed to like it.

Joe - I loved Joe's dress.....not enough to win, but I loved it. Simple and elegant with just the right touch of accessory. His hemming techniques could stand a little practice.

Keith - And again, Keith's model came down the runway while I was napping - but I'll say I didn't like it from the start. I'm not a big fan of "funeral drape ruching".

Kelli's dress seemed a little cockeyed on her model but I liked the fabrics and the colors and it seemed to be sewn well......how hard is it to sew for a stick figure though?

Kenley - Now Kenley's dress was my favorite; nicely designed - good mix of classic and sassy. She worked well with that very, very finicky material and added just the right accessory in the belt. She should have won the challenge. (I believe if Natalie Portman hadn't gushed over Suede's dress, Kenley might have won the challenge.)

Korto - I actually liked Korto's dress from a design standpoint. She took a chance by turning the seams and darts into a purposeful design element - but she lost it on the "wings" in the back. Had she stuck to just the darts on the dress she might have made it work. She was obviously revealed she was still in the game in the finish.

Leanne - She overdid her art on this dress. Way too many elements. It was hard to concentrate on it. She also didn't do such a great job working with that fabric. It started out in the work room looking like it was going to be nice and interesting - edgy.

Stella - Stella, Stella, Stella.....biker chick! She got to introduce her biker flare by putting in lace-ups on the sleeve and along the side seam. Her whole love of the leather is going to get old though.

Suede - the designer from Solon won this challenge. His dress WAS great and he put a lot of work into the construction of it, but I didn't think it was winner quality. However, Natalie Portman loved it and would "totally wear this". Okay - on second, third and fourth look at the dress - it is cute. I just guess I'm a classic dress type.

Terri - Her dress was very stylish....I loved the two colors - the deep navy and the black and the ruffling at the neckline made the dress very sassy.

Wesley - This was a disappointing dress. It was terribly overworked and like the judges said "it looked like there were 20 pairs of hands" that had worked on it. It was satin and every single thing that was done to the dress showed. His hemming was awful and it was way too short. (He didn't make it through to the 3rd episode!)

A Long Day At Sea.......

The girls are having the second of their full days at sea onboard the NCL Jade. We've gotten an "Abbey Road" postcard from kClare saying that she basically didn't know what to expect but that Abbey Road is more like I-480 than a road in your neighborhood. They took a few pictures, but indicated that others were not so brave as to venture out on the Road. I don't know, looks pretty quiet to me!

Both girls indicate via email and blog responses that they are having a great, great time and enjoying each other's company. In their own words, they are "doing EVERYTHING and going everywhere. We've paired up with my friend Evan and his mom and it's been so fun!"

WAIT........HMMMM, Evan's Mom got to go!!!

What's up with that!?

They've been seeing the usual sites in Ireland (kissing the blarney, drinking in Dublin pubs, etc) and in Scotland, they managed to get a glimpse of the Loch Ness monster! (Or was that a drunk passenger on the Lido deck!)

They are finding the British Isles beautiful and say they can't wait to show us pictures. They've been able to see a lot of shows and participate in activities onboard - kClare is getting to see Tony 'n Tina's wedding for the first time. jJoy had a role in that show in Chicago for several months, but kClare was never able to get there to see it. It's a fun production and I think it's terrific that NCL has them. They got to see Smokey Joe's Cafe and a great American Idol spoof called Showdown.

The Mother of one of the Librarians here at work is ironically on this very same sailing.....this was discovered on the very day that kClare was leaving for London. Mrs G took time to introduce herself to jJoy after the Second City show which I thought was very nice. I still can hardly believe the coincidence of this!

Today was our day to "meet" on deck.....so here you go (pay no attention to the times listed at the top)..........

First picture WITHOUT the pinhole images of our daughters............


The second WITH the pinhole images of our daughters..........

I especially like the sweater kClare is wearing.....I believe she stole that from my closet....and I'm going to want it back!
I miss them both and just can't accurately pen the right words that express my delight at their adventures and opportunities.
See you soon, girls.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

PROJECT RUNWAY SEASON 5.......

Season 5 of Project Runway started this week without much ado. One of the best parts was that they brought back Austin Scarlett to work with Tim Gunn and to judge the first challenge which apparently was the same as the first challenge in Season 1 as well.

The Designers this year are: (Episode 1 spoiler warning!)

Blayne - Mr Hat. He's a little pompous and I didn't like his first design at all. I thought that he might get sent home instead of the designer that made the raincoat out of the shower curtain

Daniel - The Cup Guy, made a beautifully crafted dress out of blue beer cups - who'd have thought. That's it now, we'll have to save all the cups from our patio parties. I think Daniel was a little disappointed that he didn't win the first challenge because they had some seriously nice things to say about the dress "on" camera.

Emily - She played it safe with her outfit - it was, again, a tablecloth but it had (or she added) a scalloped/lacy edge. She made a very ruffly cowl collar out of what? I'm not sure.

Jennifer - I'm interested to see how she fits in with the group. She's very down on the farmish and quiet - it'll be interesting. Her dress, I believe, was made of paper towels - white and looked pretty cute actually.

Jerell - Mr Funny Guy, has a good sense of humor. He seems like he's going to be the glue that holds many together - but we'll see, it's early. The bottom of his outfit was ripped tablecloth and the top was lawn chair material (he should hook up with Kenley and they could have an ensemble going). But the top was edged in drink umbrellas and that was fun.

Jerry - Got his walking papers first night. It's interesting how they focus "on" camera the designers that go on about how they are "totally going to take this place by storm" and then they get booted off! His raincoat was a little confusing and the outfit he paired with the coat underneath was totally void of style. He had his model wearing yellow rubber cleaning gloves and white boots from the "blue fly.com" shelf......pitiful pairings.

Joe - He's a family man and very talented. The top of the outfit he made was an oven mit - innovative! And the skirt was festooned with macaroni.

Keith - Again, tablecloths......black and white this time. He made a nice look sundress, but boring.

Kelli - Kelli's the girl from Columbus who owns her own store. I think it's called Black Market. Her design was GREAT and she has some serious potential.

Kenley - Her models outfit was colorful and if I remember correctly, was made of lawn chair material for the skirt and I forget what the top was made of.

Korto - Made a love flowing, yellow garden dress and she trimmed the neckline with lettuce and tomatoes....it was really cute, really.

Leanne - Her dress was very cute. She got worried after Tim Gunn's "no more tablecloths" speech and decided to add pink candies to her pink dress.

Stella - She's a little strange....reminds me of the girl in the last season who "spit-marked" her fabric. This girl bragged that she has one-up on the others because she could make a custom 3-piece suit in 8 hours. But, she could barely hold the garbage bag dress together. I actually thought she was the one going home in episode 1.

Suede - is originally from Solon, Ohio, I think although in his introductory comments, he says he's from New York which is where he's probably been working for awhile. Suede's blue and white picnic tablecloth was a little scary and it got scarier with each embellishment he added. The neckline and a little at the bottom was a ruffled plastic tablecloth

Terri - She took several mop heads and crocheted a backless top for her model and the skirt was a red tablecloth type material.

Wesley - Used a yellow tablecloth and the dress he made was lovely, but he trimmed it in (once again) yellow plastic beer cups and also a yellow flyswatter, which was interesting.

Their challenge in episode 1 was to take their materials from the market and fashion clothing with $75 worth of materials. They were walking out of the store with bouncing balls and garbage bags and lawn chairs......yikes. The tablecloths and the shower curtain I could see. Although, Tim Gunn complained that there was WAY too much tablecloth use in the design room. Nine designers used tablecloths!!!

All in all, not a clear design talent shown although the girl that won the challenge was good.

32 Years Ago Today.......

What a journey.....


Where we were....


Where we are.....


Where we're going........


Love you more today than all the days of the past....Happy Anniversary

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On the Road Again............

Each day we hear a little bit from the girls of their whirlwind tour of the British Isles.

In my last post, I reported that they arrived in London to visit the sites.
(As yet, they have not sent any pictures - so these are the sites I imagine they have seen)

After tea with Elizabeth they were once again onboard the NCL Jade and making their way to LeHavre France to visit Paris and the sites there:


And this morning, we have word that they are back in Falmouth, England at a little pub there in the port having a Bulmers and enjoying free WiFi ! Apparently, life is quieter and slower in Falmouth than in London and Paris so they are enjoying that quiet time while kClare recovers from the jet lag.


(Imaginary Falmouth, England Pub. Notice the Irish Flag!!! Rebels!)

Can't wait to hear more..........and see their own pictures!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Together At Last..........

After much angst on my part, we now rest easy because the girls are together. We got a call yesterday from them; I guess kClare's flight to London was uneventful and after getting into her hotel, they went off to visit the sites. They apparently saw everything they wanted to see including Abbey Road. kClare is a serious Beatle fan and will be even more proficient at Beatlemania when she returns......L is especially anxious to hear all about that.

They took the train down to Southampton early this morning and we have word now that they are all checked and settled in for the cruise. It was a travel arrangement out of the ordinary - no documents until the day before she left and no real "ticket". I kept asking jJoy if there was something special we were supposed to do and "are we sure kClare isn't going to get to the gangway on sailing day and be turned away because we forgot to cross some t somewhere along the way?" So, I can hear it in their email that they are happy and now relaxing and ready to have some serious fun. This is a picture of the dock in Southampton. Tomorrow they will celebrate Bastille Day in true French style - PARIS


ME? Weed pulling in the garden - maybe I'll have some really strong french roast coffee and a croissant to celebrate the day.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gee Whiz.......I Nearly Missed It..............

but this is "National Be Nice to New Jersey" week.


Like I said before, you think I make this stuff up..............but, according to "Chase's Calendar of Events", we need to be nice to New Jersey this week.


So, to all of our NJ friends (and you KNOW who you are!!!)........we send out our hugs.

I had a great trip to Chicago this past weekend and I'll post some pictures of that later. We're busy helping kClare get ready for her two week European Cruise on the Norwegian Jade; she leaves tomorrow.

I need more color in our summer garden.............any suggestions?????

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

July's a Busy Month..............

It's national cell phone courtesy month so don't forget to stifle those little buggers where appropriate. I'm not sure how it happened, but there's a generation out there that feels it's acceptable to stand at your service counter and expect you to transact with them all the while they are on their phone. I don't want to listen to you on the phone while I'm trying to make a personal connection with you myself. Not everyone - of course. But, I think we can expect more and more of it........................so, be courteous on the phone. Use some common sense, man (or woman, or child).


It's also women's motorcycle month.........now, although I don't ride a motorcycle, I have a woman friend who does - someone I least expected to become a "motorcycle mama". Her husband began riding several years ago and as a way to spend more time with him, she took the classes and began riding. She fell off but got right back on and has had two or three bikes since she started. It was THE least expected activity for her to take up and I could hardly figure out why. Her husband passed away this past March from a massive heart attack......that's why she started riding motorcycles. She's had the BEST several years of her life riding with him and going places together and I'm certain she wouldn't trade that time for anything. So, the Lord DOES move in mysterious ways.

We just received an email from our oldest daughter who's ship has landed in Norway.....she says it's beautiful there. The L has an Uncle-in-law who is from Norway and came to settle in the town where L's from: Spangler, PA.....I know, I know. Where's Spangler, PA? Google it! Anyway, jJoy says she understands why Uncle Herluf landed in Spangler......it looks just like Norway she says. Things are going well for jJoy on the ship - she's excited to see her sister who will join her at the end of next week.


I'm leaving for Chicago at the end of the week to spend some much anticipated time with kClare. Together we have lots of things planned out - much of it revolves around packing up the apartment, but that's okay. Taste of Chicago is happening downtown, so we're checking that out...maybe spending the day in the city so we can get some knock off purses from vendors in the alleys. The Magnificent Mile has nothing on these alley vendors............hmmhmmm.


We'll celebrate the 4th in true Mangan style at the home of one of my cousins. She has a bird's eye view of great fireworks from her driveway, so she's declared the 4th of July HER holiday to celebrate. Her home is beautiful and she's a true party person; always a delight to be around. You can always count on her for a good story or two.


Then, there's our Anniversary........the Irish Festival........the Arkansas McCafferty's visit.........and our trip to Chicago at the end of the month.....so, July IS a very busy month. It also signifies the middle of summer and I feel like summer's just begun and now we're approaching the "half done" mark. Have to hurry up and have fun....golf more.


I have a very rough work schedule this week....2 days. I'm not sure I can handle it!


But for me.....the most anticipated July celebration of all: It's National Ice Cream Month. I plan to do all I can to support this very important festivity. The dairy industry is counting on us. I've been waiting all summer for this month!!!


So, eat ice cream....but not while you're on your cell phone.


Happy 4th of July if I don't get back here for awhile.